In an attempt to become fully self-sustaining, many homeowners consider digging a well. The idea is that a well can provide your home with fresh water so that you don’t have to rely on your town’s supply.

However, adding a well to your home requires more than simply digging a hole in the backyard if you want to do it safely, effectively, and in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Here is everything you need to know if you’re considering doing this.

Everything You Need to Know About Digging a Well - Header Image

Is It Safe?

The first thing you’ll want to think about is whether or not this is safe. The water underneath your home may not be safe to drink or clean with, depending on where you live and the water table in your area. 

Before you decide to dig a well, you’ll want to perform some research about your local water table or just get your water tested. You can often do this by contacting your town or city directly and asking them for a water testing kit. Test your water to ensure it is safe before you invest a lot of money in building an entire well.

Getting Permission

Next, you may need to get permission to dig a well. Each town and city is different and will have their own local laws about wells. 

If there are other wells in your area, chances are you should be able to build one on your own property. On the other hand, if none of your neighbors have a well on their property, there could be a reason for this. Talk to local officials about what is and isn’t allowed, so that you don’t end up breaking the law with your new well.

How Deep to Dig?

If you’re allowed to build a well, you’ll then want to think about how deep you need to go. The depth you need to go to will depend on your property and the height of your local water table, but the typical depth of a well is between 100 and 500 feet (30-150 metres). Going this deep will provide you with a steady source of water, provided there is one nearby.

This is no easy depth to dig to, however, especially if you have troublesome rock formations in the area. You may want to consider investing in core logging tools and software so that you can learn more about the ground underneath your property. To learn more about what core logging is, you can click here.

How to Protect It

Once you have the well hole dug, you need to protect it. If you leave the well unprotected, it is easy for it to become contaminated from rain, debris, or animals. 

Invest in a sturdy well cover that completely covers the well and won’t slip in. This will also protect anyone on your property from accidentally falling into the well. 

Finally, watch what chemicals you use on the ground around your well, as these can easily seep down into the water.

Getting the Right Pump

To get the water out from the bottom of the well you’ll need a strong pump. No one wants to spend their time dropping a bucket down to pick up the water like they used to do in the old days. If you plan on using this water throughout your home, you’ll need a strong enough pump to reach from the well to your indoor plumbing. If you just need some extra water outside, you may be able to get away with a simple hand pump. 

Can You Do It Yourself?

More than likely, you’ll need some help digging your well. It’s unfortunately not as easy as grabbing a shovel and digging down in your yard until you hit water. Your best bet is to hire a contractor that has done this sort of work before. They’ll be able to plan out the well, ensure it meets all the local laws and regulations and will last a long time. They will also have the equipment needed to make this large job a lot easier.

Associated Costs

Before you jump into hiring someone to build your well, you should consider all the costs associated with it. You will need to pay not only for a team to build it but for a pump, pipes, additional landscaping, inspection fees, and more. The entire project can become quite costly when you factor everything in. This doesn’t mean you can’t do it, only that it’s better to know the entire costs upfront rather than being surprised by them later.

You May Not Be Able to Use it Forever

Finally, keep in mind that your well may not last forever. Even if you have a steady source of water now, this can always dry up. In addition, if you don’t take care of your well, it could break down and become unusable. You’d hate to spend all this time and money on a well, only for it to disappear in a year. Plan ahead as best you can and take proper care of your well to give it the longest life possible.

Don’t Rush into Your Well Project

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into adding a well to your property. You should take your time with each component of it and consider all the angles. This will make your project run smoother, be more affordable, and last longer.

This post was kindly sponsored by Mount Sopris Instruments

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